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L.A. Investors Grab Stake in Kmart

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, two investors, Ronald Burkle and Kenneth Abdalla, based in Los Angeles, said they acquired a 6 percent stake in Kmart Corp. Combined, the two hold about 29 million common shares, which were purchased since last October at prices ranging from $4.97 to $6.54 per share.

Burkle serves as chairman of Cryk, a promotional marketing firm. His investments, partnerships and acquisitions are usually made under Yucaipa Cos. Abdalla's management of investment companies include Westgate Enterprises III LLC and American Cos. LLC.

Profits Fall for Bank of America

Bank of America Corp., based in Charlotte, N.C., last week said fourth-quarter profits fell 27 percent, which was due to losses on loans and investments. Net income was $1.39 billion, or 85 cents per share, compared with $1.9 billion, or $1.10 per share, in the same period last year. The results include gains made from the sale of a factoring unit, as well as a $213 million charge relating to the merger of BankAmerica and NationsBank, the company said in a statement.

According to analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial, the bank was expected to earn 86 cents per share. Last month, the company warned Wall Street that it would miss earnings estimates due to $1.2 billion in uncollectible debt and sagging trading gains. Analysts contend that some of the bank's woes were due to Sunbeam Corp.'s loan facility, which has been a nonperforming asset for the bank. Nonperforming assets, which are loans with potential repayment problems, climbed to $5.5 billion by the close of the quarter, compared with $3.2 billion in the same period a year prior.

Ethan Allen Q2 Sales Up, Net Drops

Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. in Danbury, Conn., posted higher sales but lower profits last week for its second quarter ended Dec. 31. Sales climbed 7 percent to $232.7 million from $217.5 million in the prior year. Net income dropped to $23.1 million, or 58 cents per share, from $24.8 million, or 59 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

Management said it was pleased with the results, adding that sales in the company's retail division grew 10 percent to $108.7 million. Comparable-store sales, which increased 6.3 percent, were in line with expectations.

"Even though the company experienced a lower sales increase as compared to previous quarters, we continue to benefit from several initiatives implemented during the last few years," said Farooq Kathwari, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.
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Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Jan 22, 2001

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